flute (= piccolo), oboe, clarinet in A, horn, bassoon | 2023 | 8'
World premiere: 19 August 2023 | Église Sainte–Bernadette | Annecy | France | Ensemble ARS NOVA | European Creative Academy
Bunte Blätter is cast in three short movements. The first takes its title from a poem by e. e. cummings—'birds ( here, inven ting air'—gorgeously set by Pierre Boulez in his Cummings ist der Dichter. This being my first piece to receive a premiere in France, whose musical traditions I respect so much, I was keen to pay homage to the music from that country. The music plays a little game: while tonal, its techniques are Boulezian.
The second movement, 'Upon the Starry Sky', is an arrangement of a madrigal I composed for a friend's wedding. It features simple, slow music, weaving around a tender collection of notes, and vaguely recalling vocal techniques and textures from the 17th century.
After two short, peaceful movements, the third is more turbulent and aggressive. With the stunning landscapes around Annecy in mind, I was inspired by mountain landscapes, and musical traditions from around the world found in mountainous regions. Its title, 'On The Mountain A Cry Was Heard', is a reference to the astounding motet by Heinrich Schütz, 'Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehöret'.